Gàidhlig / English
Grunn Sheanfhaclan

Grunn Sheanfhaclan

Posted by Calum on 20th June, 2019
We have a wee blog for you this week about various proverbs throughout the Highlands. Since we have a couple of them already, I wanted to show you one or two of them. (I did not change the proverbs too much and therefore the spelling or the grammer entirely right).
We have most of the proverbs in here from North Uist:
  • Cho fialaidh ris an fhaoileig [As generous as the seagull], this is different from another one I read from Seòsamh Watson’s book, “Saoghal Bana-mharaiche”, Tha e ceart cho faoin ris na faoileagan [He is just as foolish as the seagulls]. I know why they say the seagull is generous, but in my own experience of seagulls it’s a foolish bird, in my opinion! Perhaps seagulls are kinder in the west than the east coast of Scotland(...)
  • Ruigidh each mall muilleann [A slow horse will reach a mill]. This is connected with Ruigidh an t-each mall am muilleann uaireigin [The slow horse will reach the mill sometime] I read in “Proverbial Lore in Embo and the other Gaelic-speaking fisherfolk communities of East Sutherland” by “School of Scottish Studies, vol. XIV” by Nancy C. Dorian.
  • Rud nach fhaic sùil, cha mhiannaich cridhe. [That what the eye doesn’t see, the heart won’t want].
  • Rud a thig leis a ghaoith, falbhaidh e leis an uisge [That that comes with the wind, it will leave with the rain], but this is distorted a bit from An rud a thig leis an uisge, falbhaidh e leis a’ ghaoith [That that comes with the rain will leave it will leave with the wind].
  • Chan innis cridhe misgeach breug [A drunken heart will know tell a lie] but I had better say that I know this one because it is written on the wall of a well-known bar in Glasgow!
Moving a little bit south to Lorne we have three here:
  • One would say Tha là seo coltach ris an là a thiodhlaig iad an Càirsealach Mór [This day is like the day they buried the big Carswell] on a windy day with wind coming from the south-west.
  • An uair a theirgeas gach meas, ’s math na mucagan [The time that every fruit perishes, great are the rose-hips].
  • Teirgidh Cruachan Beann gun dad a chur ’na ceann [The mounds of the mountain will perish without putting anything on top of them]. I have heard Cha seas poca falaimh [An empty sack will not stand] somewhere.
In Kintyre we have three others here:
  • For guessing the weather to come one would say Gealachadh bho thuath, comharradh math. Gealachadh bho dheas, droch comharradh [Whitening from the north, good sign. Whitening from the south, bad sign].
  • An dias as truime tha ’s an fhaiche, ’s i as isle ceann [The heaviest ear of corn in the meadow, it is that which has the lowest head].
  • Saoilidh uiseag na mòine gur h-e mòine ’s fheàrr a th’ ann [The skylark of the peat-bog(?) thinks that he has the best peat]. This reminds me of something that I read in a book of Scots, The Cock is crouse o’ his ain midden. And, I heard Tha an coileach moiteil air an òtrach aige fhèin [The cock is proud of his own midden], but let me know if you have heard this one before!
Do you know any of what we have here or do you have any similar or different ones? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or DASG’s website!
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